transphobia & trauma .

Disclaimer: This is a sequel to an older post (, so it’s worth reading that one first if you haven’t already! Content warning-wise, this article has similar themes based on my experiences, so please don’t continue reading if you feel uncomfortable with those, which is valid!

In my autobiographical piece I went into a lot of detail about transphobia within a specific six-month period at a certain sixth form. It goes beyond that, though. Beyond the confines of the school is the rest of the world and plenty of it is dangerous to trans folk. 

Whether its antagonistic, armed gang members by the canal basin I used to pass every week to get to the local LGBT group, or someone in a passing car, or a dodgy bloke at a bus stop who tries to grope you. One time its verbal abuse and the next a stranger is approaching you with a knife. Or a paedophile on a quiet train. Date-rape. Spiking. Manipulative relationships. Sexual assault. All things verbal, emotional, physical and technological. Close friends, partners or strangers.

Experiences that hurt. On my self-esteem, on my dysphoria, on my mental health. Experiences that, in combination to transphobia in education, and indeed, toxic relationships, have shaped trauma and influence how EUPD (though you may know it as Borderline Personality Disorder) affects my future ability to form healthy relationships. Experiences that have affected my relationship to gambling, drugs and eating behaviours. 

Thankfully, lots of that is in the past. Art therapy especially has been beneficial to processing events. Talking, too. But there’s still the constant reminders, painful flashbacks and mental scarring. The anxiety within sex, relationships and public spaces. The persistent, unhealthy coping mechanisms. The challenge of trying to cut out smoking and drinking entirely. Avoiding certain social media platforms and dating sites. 

I don’t need to spout statistics though. We know that transphobia is an issue in the modern world. The BBC may have stopped t-slurring in their programmes, but hate crime is still on the rise year-on-year. Plus, though trauma disproportionally affects trans folx more than those cisgender, it’s still something that can affect everyone. We can’t control the experiences we have in the future. No one is immune, and that’s pretty scary. But at least we can talk about them.

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